While Rafael Nadal seemed to hit a wall on Wednesday at Roland Garros, no walls seem in sight for world No. 1 Serena Williams.
Williams on Wednesday powered past Italian and former Roland Garros finalist Sara Errani 6-1, 6-3 to move into the semifinals of the 2015 French Open, now two matches away from a second French Open crown in the last three years.
It was the first time in four rounds that the world No. 1 did not need to mount a comeback from a set down.
“The last four French Opens in a row [Errani’s] been to the quarterfinals or better, so I knew I had to be really focused today,” said Williams after improving to 9-0 career against the Italian. “She does so well here, and she really fights for every point.”
Williams’ focus was evident in her 39 winners to 23 unforced errors.
“I wasn’t able to serve well in my first couple of matches here because I hurt my arm in Madrid, and in Rome I had to pull out,” she said. “I haven’t had a great claycourt season, so I’m pretty excited to have gotten this far.”
“This far” will not be the typical Grand Slam semifinal, as Williams will next meet No. 23 seed Timea Bacsinszky, who defeated No. 93-ranked Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck 6-4, 7-5.
“She’s a good player,” Williams said of Bacsinszky, who she has beaten in both their career meetings. “What I think about most when I think of her is she’s a major fighter…and she’s had a really good year — so I have to come out strong again, I need to relax, and just do the best that I can do.”
Bacsinszky said after her win that favorites go out the door this late in a Grand Slam.
“I know people like to write about who is the favorite and who has pressure, who has no pressure, but we are equal when we step on the tennis court,” Bacsinszky said. “I wasn’t feeling like the favorite today. That’s why I just played my game and tried to find the solution like before.”
The Swiss can take solace in her meeting with Williams earlier this year in Indian Wells where she was competitive against the world No. 1.
“Serena is definitely a great champion…But it’s the same every time I step on the court,” the Swiss said. “I always try to win the last point. For me it doesn’t matter who I’m playing against, I want to have two or three tactics and then try to use them. When you play against Serena, you should be able to compete with her. I gave her a hard time when I played against her, and I hope tomorrow I will do my best to try and beat her and win the last point.”
Serena and the Swiss will follow the other women’s semifinal on Thursday when former Roland Garros champ and No. 7 seed Ana Ivanovic takes on No. 13 seed Lucie Safarova.
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